Takin' Care of Business
Charlie Rouse, tenor sax; Blue Mitchell;
Walter Davis, piano; Earl May, bass; Art Taylor, drums.
|1. Blue Farouq (Blue Mitchell) 7:24
2. "204" (Randy Weston) 7:24
3. Upptankt (Charlie Rouse) 4:42
4. Wierdo (Kenny Drew) 5:59
5. Pretty Strange (Randy Weston) 5:14
6. They Didn't Believe Me (Kern) 6:52
|Produced by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover Photo by LAWRENCE N. SHUSTAK
Recording by JACK HIGGINS
Recorded on May 11, 1960
"Takin' Care of Business," is an expression currently very widely in use in jazz circles, but to use it properly you should reserve it for those no-nonsense occasions on which everything comes out just right and the job at hand is done unusually and excitingly well.
That makes it quite correct to apply the term to this hard-cooking album. It could also be properly applied to the overall jazz efforts of tenorman Charlie Rouse. The trouble, up to now, has been that Rouse takes care of business so professionally and unflamboyantly that it has been all too easy for people to overlook him. Not fellow musicians: they've been aware for a long time. Ever since Charlie, who was born in Washington, D.C., in 1924, came onto the jazz scene in the '40s to play with Dizzy Gillespie, with Billy Eckstine's legendary bop-star-studded band, and with Duke Ellington. But jazz fans, and record companies, are usually less alert than musicians, and it has only been rather recently that there has been any sort of growing recognition of the fact that Rouse is a full-fledged big-leaguer.
One important factor both in gaining more attention and in bringing his playing talents into sharper focus has been that for the past couple of years Charlie has been working regularly in the quartet of Thelonious Monk. (He can be heard on several of Monk's recent albums for Riverside--Jazzland's parent label.) And now Rouse has his first opportunity to step out on a record and take care of business on his own. For this overdue debut, he has selected one of the fastest-rising young trumpet stars, the big-toned and inventive Blue Mitchell (currently with the Horace Silver Quintet), and a firm rhythm section that inludes pianist Walter Bishop and bassist Earl May, and is anchored by one of the best: Art Taylor, who has also spent much time with Thelonious.
Together they romp through a half-dozen tunes designed for "blowing" freedom. There is Mitchell's striding blues line, "Blue Farouq;" Rouse's own top-speed "Upptankt;" a finger-snapping version of the Jerome Kern standard, "They Didn't Believe Me," and pianist Kenny Drew's intricate "Wierdo." Composer-pianist Randy Weston has contributed two new and well-above-average items: "204" (which is in the vein of his celebrated "Hi-Fly"), and "Pretty Strange," an unusual ballad which features Rouse throughout, playing with a deep tone and depth of feeling that startled even the other musicians on the date.
--ORRIN KEEPNEWS, from the liner notes.
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